It seemed a little silly over the weekend when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) felt compelled to release his birth certificate. The right-wing Texan was born in Calgary, Alberta, to an American mother, which immediately made Cruz an American citizen. With the senator apparently eyeing national office, and with much of the right fascinated by birth certificates in recent years, the move was apparently intended to resolve any questions about eligibility.
But in this case, it didn’t work out the way Cruz hoped. The Dallas Morning News noted that, as a technical matter, Cruz had dual citizenship – he was an American by virtue of his American mother, but he was also Canadian the moment he was born on Canadian soil. Cruz could, in theory, obtain a Canadian passport, register to vote in Canada, and even run for Parliament.
“Given the raft of stories today about my birth certificate, it must be a slow news day. The facts of my birth are straightforward: I was born in 1970 in Calgary, Canada. Because my mother was a U.S. citizen, born in Delaware, I was a U.S. citizen by birth. When I was a kid, my Mom told me that I could choose to claim Canadian citizenship if I wanted. I got my U.S. passport in high school.
“Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter.
“Now the Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship. Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. Senator, I believe I should be only an American.”
What a strange story. Ted Cruz, the Harvard Law School grad and Supreme Court attorney, didn’t realize he had dual citizenship until two days ago? Because his Mom told him not to worry about it?
I have no doubts about Cruz’s eligibility, though I have to admit, seeing conservatives wring their hands about a “foreign-born” candidate is awfully amusing given the circumstances.